Reviews, Special Review, ya contemporary

Book Review: A Million Miles Away by Lara Avery

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Goodreads Summary:

When high school senior Kelsey’s identical twin sister, Michelle, dies in a car crash, Kelsey is left without her other half. The only person who doesn’t know about the tragedy is Michelle’s boyfriend, Peter, recently deployed to Afghanistan. But when Kelsey finally connects with Peter online, she can’t bear to tell him the truth. Active duty has taken its toll, and Peter, thinking that Kelsey is Michelle, says that seeing her is the one thing keeping him alive. Caught up in the moment, Kelsey has no choice: She lets Peter believe that she is her sister.

As Kelsey keeps up the act, she crosses the line from pretend to real. Soon, Kelsey can’t deny that she’s falling, hard, for the one boy she shouldn’t want.

Review:

Wow.

This book swept me away. I was not expecting this book to show the crazy side of grief in such a real way. And to show that the grey area of the world is much more complicated than we make it out to be. I’m floored that we get such a real experience of grief.

We start of the story with the twins Kelsey and Michelle. They seem to be complete opposites. Twins that could not be more different. And then Michelle dies. It changes everything for Kelsey. She sees that all this time, she never really knew her sister. Not anymore. Not for the past few years. I really liked that AMMA started of with both of them alive, instead of Kelsey reminiscing.

Now let’s start the review portion where I let my thoughts go free…

AMMA felt so… Real. The entire time I was reading AMMA, it felt like I could know Kelsey in real life. She was such a genuine character and I felt for her. The themes in the novel and the experiences seemed so real. Maybe because war is an everyday thing to many people in this world nowadays, and death is something that happens naturally in everyday life. It’s Just… Crazy.

I really liked that Kelsey who is known to not be a girl who studies was able to get an A+ on a paper by studying hard. We don’t normally see the process of someone studying hard in books, and we are able to see how hard she studies in AMMA. As someone who had to study a fair amount to get good grades, it makes me feel good to see this portrayed in a YA novel.  Kelsey learning how to study opened up a new world for her. She was able to see how much she could accomplish if she tried, and that gave her the fire she needed to start living again.

Let’s touch quickly on the male protagonist. Peter is such a complex character. The more we read about him, the more layers he received, and it is so gratifying to see a love interest get so much development. I was ecstatic.

I honestly think AMMA is one of the best books about grief in the YA sphere. I haven’t really heard much buzz about it, and it really does deserve more than it is getting so far.

Recommend to anyone looking for a sad yet inspiring read.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Disclaimer: Thank you NetGalley and Poppy/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for giving me the opportunity to read this book for free in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this book for free does not sway my opinion.

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6 thoughts on “Book Review: A Million Miles Away by Lara Avery”

  1. Great review. I wound up skipping this one because it sounded too similar to The Secrets We Keep (a book I didn’t love) and because, if I’m being honest, I don’t really like books about grief. BUT I’m glad to hear that it’s a book done well and will file it away as a book to recommend.

  2. I agree! I really enjoyed this one! The thing is, I KNOW it had some issues, but it was so well done that I didn’t even care about some of the believability stuff. Because I DID really care about the characters! I gave this one 4 stars too, I am so glad you liked it too. Great review 🙂

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